March 22, 1898
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell
My Dearest Ruthy:
This is the first I have been home since my hasty visit here on Saturday last, and while I
have some other duties to attend to, chiefest and most pleasant among them is the sweet
privilege of spending a few precious moments very near you, my Love.
Dearest, it is becoming harder and harder after every visit with you to bear so long a
separation from you as a week contains. After a long day at business, there isn’t a moment of
the evening when I am free from a longing desire to be at your side. But is it sensible to dwell
on such thoughts when cruel fate will not permit anything else? For this present at least? Ruthy
love, you are all the world to me. You could better know just how I feel were you out among all
kinds of people as I am. Ruthy, the more of the world, and its people I see, the higher you rise
in my estimation, and then to know and feel that I love and am loved by this sterling girl — of
happiness, is there any more beyond? And in answer to this question I just close my eyes and
draw pretty pictures. These are not mere fancies, but things that are to be pictures for which we
two, hand in hand, shall pose, for all the world to sketch, if they choose.
Dearest Ruthy, do not permit your natural modesty to suffer for all these things I say of
you. Perhaps I should be satisfied just to think these things. But such sweet thoughts are too
good to keep all to one’s self and I’m sure of all the world it gives me most pleasure to say them
Haven’t worked late so far this week but will have to for what remains of it. Worked until
7:00 last night and then went out with Ed. He was requested to attend an entertainment given
by St. George’s Society on the roof garden of Delmonico’s, 44th St and Fifth Ave, and secure
some information regarding it. He had two invitations, one made out to the publisher, and the
other to the editor of the M and Ex. We had dinner down town and reached Del’s at a little
before nine. From appearance’s, we judged they were going to have a grand time. This roof
garden is all under glass and profusely furnished with fine palms and other tropical plants,
making it a regular fairyland of foliage. We remained only long enough to secure the desired
information and then Ed went home and I up to 62nd St where I spent the night with Mr Jones,
Hessie having remained at West Summit overnight.
Tomorrow evening will have to work until ten, and will remain in N Y, which programme
will have to follow for Thursday and Friday too, in order to have Saturday with you.
What will you do Love without that brother to unload some of your affection upon, and to
tease, etc. I’m sorry he should have to go. If I were he and had a big loving sister like you, and
a fine farm, I’d forswear every vocation and be a happy healthy farmer. Sharing the same
feeling you do, it must be equally hard for Bob to leave you, and separate himself from the
practical workings of an affection that cannot be matched.
What can I do to take his place? I want you not to hesitate to call upon me for anything.
What ever it might be, I shall be glad to do it.
I must go to bed now Pet — the other things I was to do will do in the morning, for I am
Dearest Love, could I but give you just one kiss, right now, I think I’d be satisfied until
Saturday, but even so little a thing I cannot have except in fancy. In your last letter you sent me
ten, so tonight Love, I send you ten passionate Loving kisses in return imprinted upon your
name where last I wrote it.
Good night my Dearest Ruthy,
From your loving